Goodbye, Redfin

This week I was one of 862 people whose jobs were eliminated at Redfin in the second round of layoffs at the company since the housing downturn began earlier this year. I had been with Redfin for over seven years. I initially worked at Redfin from 2010 through 2013, when I left to escape a specific awful individual. I returned in 2018 after that person left the company.

When I left Redfin in 2013 I felt awful. I hated that one person had been able to ruin what was otherwise the best place I had ever worked. When I was able to come back five years later I was elated. While I had been gone the company went through an IPO and a lot of growth, but it still felt like returning home.

Tim and GlennFor me Redfin wasn’t just a place I worked—it was part of my identity. I honestly believed that I would be at Redfin until I retired. In hindsight I guess it was foolish to get emotionally attached to a workplace, but I just couldn’t help it. I loved Redfin. I loved the product, the mission, the passion, the transparency, the people… everything.

Here are just a few examples of what I mean when I say that Redfin was more than just a job for me.

At our last big all-company in-person meeting in January 2020 before COVID screwed everything up, I brought a squirrel mask to the after-party (a “rabid squirrel” became the company’s unofficial mascot after a 2011 Michael Arrington blog post) and spent the whole time posing with people in my “I ❤️ Redfin” shirt.

It's on like Donkey KongOur CEO Glenn Kelman, who I consider a personal friend, had a number of silly catchphrases that he would say in company meetings, including “it’s on like Donkey Kong!” I spent some of my free time at home making that one into framed Perler bead pixel art, which I later placed in his office.

Even though my job had nothing to do with social media, I outed myself as a Redfin employee on the /r/REbubble subreddit, where most users were particularly hostile toward anyone in the real estate industry. I had the mods give me a custom flair and stood up for Redfin whenever people attacked it without good reason.

rabid squirrel trophyI even spent some of my own money for a freelance 3D designer to make a model of the rabid squirrel from the 2011 blog post that I was going to 3D print and turn into a commemorative trophy to decorate the HQ office. Sadly that is one project I never had the time to finish before my time there ended.

When I shared with my coworkers that I was one of the ones who had been laid off, many of them sent me kind messages with sentiments like “I’m sure you’ll find something great.” While I do feel confident that my unique combination of skills and talents will help me land another good job, nothing will be able to truly replace Redfin for me.

Anyway, I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad or change their mind. What’s done is done. I just wanted to share what Redfin has meant to me, and I guess I feel that putting it in writing like this will help me process my grief. Thanks for reading.

Sharknado: Has the “Shark Genre” Reached its Logical Conclusion? NOPE.

Today on a group chat at work, the topic of “Sharknado” came up. Because of course it did. In said chat, someone linked to an article in which the writer of “Sharknado” claims that “the shark genre has reached its natural and logical conclusion.” I believe that we proved his thesis wrong.

For reference, here is the “Sharknado” trailer:


RT: NPR: ‘Sharknado’ Dares To Ask: Is It Going To Rain Giant Man-Eating Sharks?

YO: I feel like I should revive our shark air-swimmer.

NG: Sharknado was all the rage lat night on Twitter. 9/10 tweets were about it

FN: OMG. Seriously, EVERYONE I follow on Twitter was going nuts about Sharknado.

OS: Fin’s name should have been Foo. Then Foo could have owned a bar, and been friends with Baz.

FN: The company that makes these movies is called The Asylum. They were also responsible for the “Megashark vs.” series and other recent super low budget classics. There was one with a mega piranha. Here’s a 2010 article about The Asylum.

OS: The low-budget big action knock-off is such a funny niche. I’ve been watching a lot of Rifftrax recently of mid-80s straight-to-video knockoffs. There’s always the one or two big-name actors who are slumming or fallen on hard times, the incomprehensible plot, and the strangely professional cinematography and sometimes stunts.


FN: Last sharknado bit from me for today (I have so much work I’m avoiding!): io9 did an excellent interview with the writer.

GR: Ha ha, awesome: “Honestly, I don’t understand why people are so perplexed by this concept. The logic is undeniable.”

TO: That interview is hilarious.

TO: “Has the shark disaster movie run its course, or are we just ramping up? It’s called Sharknado. I think the shark genre has reached its natural and logical conclusion.”

NO: In other words, have shark movies… jumped the shark?

YO: What about sharks in space?

YO: “Freddy vs. Shark”?

OS: “Sharks on a Plane”?

XW: Zombie laser sharks in space. On fire.

OS: Tsusharkmi

GR: What if the Yellowstone Caldera were full of… SHARKS?!? “Megasharkano,” in theaters 2014.

OS: (clap)

RF: “Shark Impact” – Asteroid containing space-sharks on course to destroy Earth. …or would that be “Shark-ageddon”?


OS: Megalogeddadon

RF: Ooh, nice.

RF: I guess for the logic to be undeniable, it would have to be a comet containing frozen space sharks

RF: +1 if the sharks are sentient/intelligent. Then you could pull in the “Independence Day” trope.

ET: RE: intelligent sharks — Deep Blue Sea

RF: @ET good point; the movie should also feature the star power of LL Cool J.

TO: Microscopic sharks (ala Fantastic Voyage; 1966) attacking the body from within!

GR: Megashark vs. Microsharks!

TO: Megashark thinks it killed microshark by eating it, microshark kills megashark from within, microshark dies due to a lifeless host. A shakespearean shark tragedy!

GR: You know what guys let’s just forget this real estate thing and pivot Redfin into a shark disaster movie company.

YO: We can keep the company name.

RF: Can we work zombie sharks into this?

QS: @GR How do you know that this ISN’T a shark disaster movie?

QS: Oh, hang on, guys. I’ll be right back…

RF: Somebody’s at the door!

RF: (Landshark!)

RF: Man, the internets are sadly devoid of any SNL Landshark skits. Wow; first aired in 1975. Now I feel *really* old.

NO: You know what Twilight needed? Hunky teenage sharks.

Vampire Sharks

QS: [Vampire Sharks]

NO: Would vampire sharks work together with vampire ents?

QS: I found this trailer when googling Vampire Sharks. It has, ah, homegrown charm.

RF: How about weresharks?

RF: That would be an unfortunate affliction to have you if you were landlocked during a full moon.

FYI: I anonymized the chat participants and cleaned things up a bit for readability.